Department head of President’s Office: “Turkish President’s visit to Armenia is not the one to be forgotten tomorrow”

Department head of President’s Office: “Turkish President’s visit to Armenia is not the one to be forgotten tomorrow”
# 06 September 2008 12:00 (UTC +04:00)
Baku. Elnur Mammadli – APA. “Turkey is our friend, brother and partner. Our interests coincide almost in all issues,” Head of International Relations Department of the President’s Office Novruz Mammadov said in his interview to APA, while commenting on Turkish President Abdullah Gul’s visit to Armenia. He said Azerbaijan and Turkey were strategic allies. Saying that this alliance has deep roots, the department head considers this cooperation will last long.
“Turkish state, its leaders have the right to make independent decisions in all issues. We cannot take a stance on it. Azerbaijani and Turkish media publish various views. But I think it is not right to express resolute, radical and concrete position. This is a delicate step. We should wait. Turkish President’s visit to Armenia is not the one to be forgotten tomorrow. Nobody knows now what the position of Turkey and Armenia was, what they talked about, whether steps were taken forward or backward. All we can do now is to wait for the results. This is a tactical step. I think Azerbaijan and Turkey have common strategic target, it continues and will continue. No doubt, during this visit Turkish President will also have concrete position in the issue on Azerbaijan. I cannot say how the results will be”, he said.
Asked about the influence of Abdullah Gul’s visit on Azerbaijan-Turkey relations, Novruz Mammadov said it was right to link the relations between the countries to this visit. He said the relations between Azerbaijan and Turkey had been determined by the heads of the states and that course was unchangeable.
“Perhaps, some give themselves up to the feelings and express their opinion on the issue. Generally, state leader’s visit to a country is considered as an end of a period in diplomatic ties, and the beginning of new relations. Such questions arise since it is an extraordinary step by the Turkish leader. This is the case I am mostly concerned over. Armenian authorities are in a difficult situation now and when they are in such situation they do not usually follow any ethics. They can take any step in this condition. However, it does not mean they will stick on this principle forever. Today, Iran is the main guarantor of Armenia. They should be expected any maneuver, hypocrisy because they are in a very difficult situation indeed”, he said.
As for the talks that Gul’s visit favors Armenia more than Turkey, Mammadov stated that it might be so.
“But Armenia is not given what it needs. This visit does not mean Turkey will open the borders with Armenia. The parties will probably discuss problems between them during the visit. It is possible to express opinion on the visit when the discussions are announced in details. Our position on the issue is that Turkey has made the decision and we approve it”, he said.
Mammadov noted that he could not say whether Gul’s visit was initially agreed with Azerbaijan.
“There is no need for such an agreement. Turkey is an independent country, so it can take any step although we are in friendly relations. Azerbaijani and Turkish communities are deeply concerned in formal side of the issue and try to come to a logical conclusion. There is no need to make such hasty decisions in policy. We will see everything in a month or two. Maybe, those criticizing this visit will repent for its consequences. Theoretically, it is also possible”, he added.

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